A WESTBURY woman will be installed as a lay canon of Salisbury Cathedral on 1st May, after accepting an invitation from the Bishop of Salisbury.
As a lay canon, Rosemary’s knowledge and experience will be called on to help inform the policy and decisions made by the cathedral, and further its role in the wider community. Rosemary has already been working closely with the diocese on its social responsibility strategy.
Rosemary received a letter from the bishop, asking her to become a lay canon. She said, “It was completely extraordinary, I really hadn’t expected it. A normal canon would be someone from the clergy. With A Lay Canon, the cathedral invites people from the local community with a particular skill or knowledge set to help the church.”
The news was also announced to the congregation at All Saints Church on Easter Sunday. Rosemary added, “People were so excited about it, it means a lot to them and they are delighted that someone outside of Salisbury has been made a lay canon.”
Rosemary is one of five new canons to be installed. Each canon is allocated their own stall in the cathedral. Rosemary, who is the chief executive of the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon and very much involved with the diocese, will occupy Warminster.
Once installed they join Salisbury Cathedral’s College of Canons. Established in 2001 as the successor to the Great Chapter it includes lay and non-residentiary canons and meets twice a year. The College helps to provide feedback to the cathedral on its activities and to inform the policy decisions of Chapter, its governing body. It also provides an opportunity for the cathedral to further its role in the wider diocesan and civic life within the counties of Wiltshire and Dorset.
As chief executive of the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon since 2008, Rosemary has overseen the growth of this organisation which distributes grants to the voluntary sector working with disadvantaged children and individuals. It also provides university scholarships and funding for vocational training and disabled children through their One Degree More programme.
Rosemary is a trustee and enthusiastic supporter of Salisbury Playhouse. She is also actively involved with Wiltshire Council. She chaired the Resilient Communities Partnership focusing on a thriving voluntary sector, local participation in democracy, arts and heritage and equalities until Jan 2013, and is currently working with the Action for Wiltshire committee focusing on economic development in the county. She is a strategic partner and critical friend of the council, attending meetings as required and challenging where necessary.
Rosemary has been working closely with the diocese on its social responsibility strategy. She sees her role as providing advice and support to the working group ensuring that the work of the church in the community is highlighted and good practice is shared.